Posted by: lisetta | January 17, 2010

Sagne torte

Carlo’s grandmother (85) has been making pasta her entire life. Here’s a photo journey of our lesson.

Pastry board prepped with flour and water.

Starting to work l'impasto (the dough), incorporating the water.

L'impasto starts to take form ...

She keeps working it, bringing in all the 'crumbs' ...

Trust me: she kneaded it into a ball, then wrapped it in the towel to let it rest.

Loved the original box, written in English. Mine's Italian. LOL.

They work in perfect synchronicity. While watching them together, I couldn't help but wish for a pasta-making man to come into my life. If I write it, will he come? 🙂

Once the dough is rolled out into sheets (second to the last setting on the pasta machine), she hand cuts it and then rolls it. Don’t be fooled by how easy it looks on the video!

L'impasto, revealed ...

She likes him to roll out the pasta while she's cutting and rolling the sagne. They've known each other since they were 13 and 15; have been married more than 60 years.

Look how perfectly they're cut and rolled. Amazing!

Pasta for 9 people, in progress...

The fruits of their labors, served with a simple red sauce. They were remarkably light.

According to Zanini de Vita’s Encyclopedia of Pasta, sagne torte:

used to be made by girls in convent orphanages (conservatori). The 1811 Statistica del Regno di Napoli records that the pastas made in two such instuitutions in Foggia, delle Orfane and della Maddalena, were famous. The convents sold their products in neighboring Molise. Making pasta was practically the only labor these institutions could practice to support their good works.

Also called sagne incannulate, the packaged variety below was made with orzo. In central Italy they’re made with local farro flour as well. Very interesting.

Packaged sagne torte, from a specialty shop in Otranto.

I was honored to spend the morning with Carlo’s grandparents; want to master this form and take my homemade version on my next visit to Italy … or at least send them along with Carlo if I’m unable to return in the near future. Who knows what life holds for us?



  1. This “young” couple is just tooooo precious. I love how they’re working together to produce that gorgeous pasta. It’s a beautiful post and beautiful pasta.

  2. .did she put eggs in the dough? I remember making ravioli like that..a long time ago. Tom helped me. nothing tasted better. mmm just got hungry fabulous big board for the pasta making.

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